The Massachusetts Gaming Commission said in a press statement that it received a total of 15 sports betting operator applications ahead of Monday's 2 p.m. deadline. The figure represents just half of the 30 businesses that had previously shown interest in sports betting licenses after completing scoping surveys by mid-October.
The applications, which will be released once the commission reviews them, came with a non-refundable $200,000 fee. Commissioners are tasked with assessing companies’ responsible gaming plans, past sports betting experience, and employment diversity and inclusion commitments, among other factors.
The state can have up to 15 online sports betting operators. Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park Casino all submitted license applications for their brick-and-mortar establishments, which can offer mobile sports betting through up to two individually branded mobile platforms.
According to the Gaming Commission, Encore Boston Harbor intends to partner with two online platforms: WynnBet and Caesars Sportsbook. Meanwhile, MGM Springfield plans to operate on BetMGM, and Plainridge Park Casino intends to collaborate with Penn Sports Interactive and Fanatics Sportsbook.
The state also plans to award up to seven mobile wagering licenses that are not linked to brick-and-mortar locations. In line with this, six operators submitted applications for standalone licenses: Bally Bet, Betr, Betway, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Pointsbet.
Another licensing category applies to live horse racing tracks and simulcast facilities, which can also offer wagering on one individually branded mobile platform. Only Raynham Park and Suffolk Downs are eligible to seek these licenses for now and applications are open on a rolling basis.
The current timetable calls for Massachusetts to launch retail sports betting in late January. and online sports betting in early March. "Both companies have indicated that while they intend to apply, they are not prepared to begin offering in-person sports wagering by January 2023," the Gaming Commission said, according to MassLive.
"However, ahead of the application deadline, Raynham Park has made the MGC aware that they will partner with bet365 to operate an online platform. Bet365 has applied ahead of the deadline," the MGC further noted. Suffolk Downs’ online plans at this point for its one skin are unclear.
Three applications were received for Category 1 licenses, five were received for a Category 3 license tethered to a Category 1 license, and six were received for stand-alone Category 3 licenses.— MA Gaming Commission (@MassGamingComm) November 21, 2022
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At a Gaming Commission meeting last week, Investigations and Enforcement Bureau Director Loretta Lillios said that "all eyes" were on Monday’s application deadline.
"This is an important time for the operators. We have been meeting with them in groups by their category. We have been answering their questions, and I know that they are working hard on their applications now," Lillios said at the time, as reported by the cited source. "And as for our team, we are working hard to make sure that Monday goes smoothly with that initial processing."
A schedule for applications to be publicly reviewed will come in the future, the MGC said. The current timeline would allow for in-person betting by the Super Bowl and online betting by March Madness. Regulations that are up for a final approval vote at the commission's Dec. 1 meeting spell out the process by which regulators will consider the applications and the criteria they will use.